Cybersecdn- Human trafficking, a heinous $150 billion global industry, has its claws deeply embedded in various parts of the world, including Southern Colorado. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security acknowledges the vast scale of this illegal operation.
In Colorado Springs, the Lotus Foundation is actively engaged in assisting survivors, currently aiding 30 individuals who have endured this horrific experience. The issue’s magnitude is further highlighted by the Colorado Human Trafficking Hotline, which received over 1,000 calls in 2022 alone.
Heather Starr, the executive director of the Lotus Foundation, emphasizes the grim reality that the United States harbors over 200,000 trafficked individuals annually, based on reported cases. However, the actual number is likely much higher due to underreporting.
In response, the Colorado Springs Police Department, particularly its Metro Vice Unit, is committed to identifying and rescuing victims. This specialized unit, consisting of one sergeant and four detectives, collaborates with other agencies for comprehensive investigations. Notably, the confirmed reports of human trafficking in the area surged from 12 in 2022 to 64 in 2023, indicating a worrying trend in the region.